All That Is Including Me

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Our bodies presented themselves as allegories
to untangle. Then rain blurred the forest. Then ice
made of the treetops chandeliers. The book of the dead
then went by other names: book of breathing, book of traversing
eternity, book of emerging forth into the light.
Standing at the lake, we could hear
each wave tinkling with ice—each wave rolling through
the long thin clusters of softening matter,
like a delicate hammer on a bell—the sound
from another world entirely.
I touched your shadow, you touched the drop of blood
that stood for my heart. The sun, moon, and earth
moved around one another in long-established patterns
like people in love in a story.

Richie Hofmann is the author of a collection of poems, Second Empire (2015). He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and his poems appear in the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, New England Review, the New Criterion, Yale Review, and Poetry. He recently joined Kenyon Review as a book reviews editor and is currently a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University.

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Further Reading

 November 14

The new "William Gass Reader" celebrates the great essayist and philosopher—but it's Gass's fictions that will stand the test of time.

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